Winfrith

Cecil Trent remembers Winfrith when it was fields – his father was a tenant farmer and grazed cattle on the heathland in Dorset. But in the late 1950s the family had to leave because the government wanted the land for atomic energy research. In the years that followed, nine experimental reactors were built where pioneering research was carried out. Nowadays, the ground-breaking work is focussed on returning the site to heathland – something Mr Trent never believed he would see.

BBC 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 December 2017

Civil Nuclear Constabulary

As a police force, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) is unique in the way that it is organised and operates. It describes itself as an armed force. Officers are known as ‘griffins’ because a griffin icon forms part of their logo. The CNC was established in 2005, replacing the Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary which had been established in 1955. It is run by the Civil Nuclear Police Authority (CNPA) and is a branch of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with a board which consists of representatives from the nukiller industry. One member of the Ministry of Defence police who has been on secondment to the CNC described it as extremely well resourced. It has over 1,100 armed police whose job is to guard Britain’s atomic reactors. A £39m firearms training centre is currently being built next to the Sellafield nukiller waste plant in Cumbria. In addition to this, there is the CNC Strategic Escort Group. This is a specialist team who provide armed protection for high security nuclear cargo during transportation in the UK and internationally.

War Resisters’ International 1st Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 9 December 2017

Nuclear Industry

For the first time, the NIA commissioned a cross-sector report looking at the full economic impact of nuclear new build, decommissioning and operations in the UK. From our annual Jobs Map we knew there are 65,000 directly employed in the industry and from the government’s figures we know nuclear generated 21% of the UK’s electricity in 2016 – more than any other single low carbon technology – but what about the broader economic impact? The research led by Oxford Economics show the sector contributed £6.4 billion to the UK economy in 2016. That is equivalent to the output of the aerospace manufacturing industry and 0.3% of the UK’s entire GDP.

NIA 4th Dec 2017 read more »

Nuclear power accounted for a fifth of total electricity produced in the UK last year and it remains the largest single source of low carbon electricity in the UK, providing 46% of the low carbon electricity produced, with wind, solar, hydro and biomass providing the remainder, according to the Nuclear Industry Association’s first Activity Report, issued today. With two-thirds of all dispatchable power capacity retiring between 2010 and 2030, including all but one of the country’s existing nuclear stations, the NIA warns that this will need to be replaced with a new fleet to continue providing the reliable, secure low carbon power the UK will need.

World Nuclear News 4th Dec 2017 read more »

The civil nuclear industry is worth £4.3bn to the North West economy and supports more than 57,000 jobs according to a new study.

NW Evening Mail 5th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 5 December 2017

Nuclear Industry – Scotland

The nuclear power industry contributed £1 billion to Scotland’s economy last year and supports more than 12,000 jobs, according to a new report. Research by experts at Oxford Economics, carried out for the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), examined the contribution the country’s two nuclear power stations made to the economy, along with that of other companies involved in supplying them. More than 4,000 people are directly employed in the sector, the research found, but when companies that supply the industry are also considered, the total rose to more than 12,000. Scotland has two nuclear power stations in operation – Hunterston B in North Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian – but companies north of the border are also involved in supplying the new Hinkley Point C project and in decommissioning work a t the Dounreay station in the Highlands. The Scottish Government is opposed to the development of new nuclear power stations and both Hunterston B and Torness are due to close in the period up to 2030. Mr Greatrex added: “Not only will this economic benefit be lost but the progress made on reducing emissions – which in 2016 was the equivalent of taking almost all the cars off roads in Scotland – will be lost.”

Scotsman 5th Dec 2017 read more »

The National 5th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 5 December 2017

Sizewell

US-based diversified energy technology company Holtec International has bought a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) from heavy lift systems specialist Enerpac Heavy Lifting Technology. The SPMT600 hauling transporter is being used to move spent nuclear fuel to EDF Energy’s new dry store at the Sizewell B nuclear facility in the UK.

KHL 30th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 1 December 2017

Emergency Planning

Residents living near the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset would probably live just as long if they stayed where they were in the event of a Fukushima-style nuclear disaster, rather than being evacuated to Bristol.

Bristol Post 30th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 November 2017

Nuclear Accident

A Russian scientific commission will investigate reports of radioactive pollution almost 1,000 times above normal levels in the southern Urals, state nuclear company Rosatom said Friday. The move comes despite Russia’s denial that a nuclear accident had occurred at any of its nuclear facilities. “Nuclear scientists have created a commission to discover the origin of ruthenium-106,” Rosatom said in a statement, also released by the country’s Nuclear Safety Institute. The commission will include representatives of “Russian and European scientific organisations,” according to the statement. “Rosatom will offer all necessary assistance to this commission and will inform the public of the results.”

Phys Org 25th Nov 2017 read more »

Linda Pentz Gunter: September 29 marked the 60th anniversary of the world’s third most deadly— and least known — nuclear accident. It took place at the Mayak plutonium production facility, in a closed Soviet city in the Urals. The huge explosion was kept secret for decades. It spread hot particles over an area of more than 20,000 square miles, exposing a population of at least 270,000 and indefinitely contaminating land and rivers. Entire villages had to be bulldozed. Residents there have lived for decades with high rates of radiologically induced illnesses and birth defects. Now, evidence is emerging of a potentially new nuclear accident and indications point once again to Mayak as one of the likely culprits. Ironically, if there was indeed an accident there, it happened on or around the precise anniversary of the 1957 disaster. The Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad in the region is another possible suspect.

Counterpunch 24th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 26 November 2017

Nuclear Accident

Argayash is a cynical, mistrustful town. Decades of being lied to by the government about being down the road from a leaking nuclear plant does that to a place. So too does watching generations of people dying of radiation-related ailments while officials assure them nothing is amiss. A small, two-road settlement where homes roofed with corrugated iron and Soviet-era Lada cars nod to its poverty, Argayash is one of a handful of towns surrounding the Mayak Production Facility in southern Russia, one of the world’s biggest radiation emitters where a litany of tragic accidents has made it a byword for the dangers of the atomic industry. This week, 76 years after radiation first began seeping from Mayak into the surrounding rivers, lakes and atmosphere, Russian authorities admitted that Argayash was at the centre of a radiation cloud containing “exceptionally high” levels of radioactive isotope ruthenium-106, which spread so far west that it reached France. The radiation was detected by Russia’s meteorological agency in late September, but only revealed on Monday, after local politicians had spent weeks denying rumours of a leak and rubbishing reports from EU agencies that had tracked the cloud’s movement. The levels of the isotope in Argayash were almost 1,000 times the normal level. Officials say it is not harmful to public health. “Nobody tells us anything. They keep it secret,” says Lilia Galimzhanova, a cook at a café in the town. “We are afraid. We are afraid for our children and grandchildren. The source of the leaked isotope, which does not occur naturally and is produced during the processing of nuclear fuel, has not been confirmed. Rosatom, which operates the Mayak facility, has repeatedly denied it is to blame. “Previous experience has taught us that they lie and suppress information,” said Andrey Talevlin, co-chairman of the Russian Social-Ecological Union NGO. “We can’t trust what they say, whether they mislead the population on purpose or not.”

FT 24th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 November 2017

Emergency Planning

Fallout from a major nuclear disaster ‘would be no worse than living in London’ for your health, research finds

Daily Mail 23rd Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 24 November 2017

Nuclear Safety

Even the smallest components in a nuclear plant must be maintained for the plant to run as safely and efficiently as possible. Thomas Fink, head of nuclear safety at glass and ceramics technology company Schott, lends his insight. Effective operation and maintenance of a nuclear plant lead to cost savings and improved safety, and often it is the smallest components that are overlooked. Hatches, seals, electrical penetrations and hydrogen sensors all failed during the 2011 Fukushima disaster. According to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report released in July, “failures of components not designed to withstand a severe accident played a role in the rapid degradation of the plant infrastructure.” While regulation of large-scale nuclear safety features such as flood walls have seen dramatic change in the last few years, little has changed regarding these components.

Power Technology 23rd Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 24 November 2017